A cold, wet pattern put a damper on warming soils this week. In fact, all stations are reporting daily average soil temperatures cooler than one week ago (Fig. 1). Northern sites (e.g., Ashtabula and Northwest) have fallen into the 40s, with 50s being reported elsewhere. Warming will be slow again this week, with overnight lows in the 30s expected for several days. However, as air temperatures reach climatological average (highs in the mid-60s to low 70s) by the weekend, soil temperature should recover.
The active weather pattern continued this week, with widespread heavy rainfall (even some snow across the northeast). Most of the state picked up 2-3” of precipitation, with a large area of west- and north-central Ohio receiving 3-5” of rain this week (Fig. 2-left). Figure 2 (right) shows the 1-month change in total column soil moisture. Statewide improvements are depicted, with 4-8% more soil moisture over much of the state, and some areas of northwest and northeast Ohio depicting an 8-12% change over the last four weeks. This wetter pattern brought a reduction in last week’s U.S. Drought Monitor, which currently depicts 59% of the state with abnormally dry to moderate drought conditions. This latest round of precipitation will certainly lead to continued improvements on this week’s report.